(3)During the first hour of Friday night's show, astronomer David Darling(1) discussed NASA's recent discovery of a young, million year old planet circling a distant star. The finding was made from the Spitzer Space Telescope, which records infrared light. The orbiting observatory can't actually "see" the newly formed planet, but it has uncovered a curious hole within a dust cloud surrounding a young star named CoKu Tau 4. Scientists believe the hole was created by a planet. Darling said oraganic materials (methanol) have also been found in dust cloud around Coku Tau 4. This could provide the building blocks for life on a newborn planet. Read more at NASA.gov(2).
Concept image produced by NASA/JPL-Caltech.